Much less well known than the Cuillin Ridge traverse, the Lochaber Traverse involves 31km of ridge walking and easy scrambling, starting at the eastern end of the Grey Corries and culminating on Ben Nevis, taking in seven Munro's along the way. It is far less technical than the Cuillin Ridge, and an excellent route for any hill walker looking for a remote multi-day ridge adventure. And this is exactly what Stewart was looking for during his quick hop over the pond from America. With only eight days in Scotland he was cramming in as much as possible, and opted for a three day traverse to get the full experience of the walk.
With a fairly short first day we decided to wait out the rain on Sunday morning and made a start just before lunch. The ascent to gain the ridge is long and grassy, and by the time we reached the first top of Stob Coire Gaibhre the clouds were beginning to part and we were rewarded with views as far as Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag. Reaching the summit of Stob Choire Claurigh saw us on our first Munro of the traverse, and after Stob a' Choire Leith we descended a short way off the ridge to find our camp for the night.
Waking on Monday morning, we were greeted with a much calmer and clearer day - perfect for getting along the bulk of the traverse, with the goal for our next camp being the bealach between Aonach Beag and Carn Mor Dearg. We regained the ridge and before long were standing on our second Munro, Stob Coire an Laoigh. Continuing along the ridge, the descent from Stob Coire Easain brings the only scrambling of the Grey Corries section of the traverse, and it wasn't long until we were faced with the steep climb onto Sgurr Choinnich Mor.
The full traverse is a serious undertaking, involving over 3000m of ascent over it's 31km route, and after descending from Sgurr Choinnich Beag, Stewart had realised this was perhaps a little more than expected. With a day of climbing also booked into his jam-packed schedule, he decided to save some energy for this and called it a day on the traverse. Luckily we were in the perfect place to descend from the ridge, skirt under Aonach Beag and find a very scenic (and relatively midge free!) campsite at the foot of Steall Falls.
Rain and strong winds shaking the tent on Tuesday morning made us feel very grateful that we weren't still high up on the ridge. After a leisurely breakfast in bed we packed up and made the slightly damp walk out through Steall gorge and Glen Nevis to find a very warm and dry welcome at Glen Nevis Restaurant and Bar. The perfect end to three fantastic days in the hills.
Self reliance is a fundamental principle of mountaineering. By participating we accept this and take responsibility for the decisions we make. These blog posts and conditions reports are intended to help you make good decisions. They do not remove the need for you to make your own judgements when out in the hills.